The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 29 , 2014
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KKR will make it to play-offs, predicts Akram

New Delhi: Encouraged by the presence of many “team players”, Kolkata Knight Riders bowling coach Wasim Akram has expressed confidence that his side will make it to the play-offs of IPL VII as they have a “good enough” bowling attack.

“We just went for the players we thought are team players and obviously individual match-winners. Yusuf is there, Shakib-al Hasan, Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell are also on the roster. All these guys are team players and a team sport needs players who support each other when things are not going your way,” Akram said.

“There will be a rough time. You’ll lose a couple of games on the trot. That’s normal since it’s a marathon tournament. But, it was a decision made by the management, we want boys who could actually be good team players apart from being individual match winners,” Akram said on whether KKR had consciously stayed away from star players this time.

Asked whether he sees KKR in the final four in this edition, he said: “Yes I can see KKR in the final four. I would like to see KKR in the play-offs. We have good enough team, we have good enough bowling, fielding has been consistent. So, yes, there is always a chance.”

Akram, who was part of the KKR dug-out during three IPL editions, said his job was to talk to the bowlers, talk to the captain about strategy and give confidence to all the batsmen.

“With my experience, I have played like 21 years of international cricket. I have ideas to share and they are enjoying. It’s early days, but everybody seems to be enjoying each other’s company. That’s always a good sign,” he said.

Akram said KKR had a “good enough” bowling attack.

“We have Morne Morkel, Pat Cummins as overseas players and also Veer Pratap Singh, Vinay Kumar and Umesh Yadav,” he said.

Akram heaped praise on Umesh, saying, “I think Umesh is phenomenal, he’s got pace and I still can’t understand why he’s not playing for India. It still baffles me.”